Year In Review : 1938 National League

O ff the field...

On October 30 th , actor Orson Wells broadcasted his own adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic "War of the Worlds". His original "news-style" format proved more than a little convincing and created a nationwide panic as many listeners actually believed that alien invaders had landed in New Jersey. After the controversial program established him as a creative genius, Wells was signed by RKO pictures where he co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his first film, "Citizen Kane" (1941) which is still considered by many to be the greatest movie ever made.

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was passed to establish minimum living standards for workers engaged directly or indirectly in interstate commerce. A major provision of the act was the establishment of a Minimum Wage, initially $0.25 an hour, along with a maximum workweek of forty-four hours. These went on to become $0.40 an hour and forty hours after seven years.

I n the American League...

New York Yankee icon Lou Gehrig hit his twenty-third (and final) grand slam during an 11-3 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics on August 20 th for a Major League record that still stands today.

Indian catchers Frank Pytlak and Hank Helf broke the "all-time altitude mark" by catching baseballs dropped from the 706-foot Cleveland Terminal Tower on August 20 th . Over the next few years, several players were seriously injured attempting to break this unusual record.

Cleveland ace Bob Feller set a Major League strikeout record after fanning eighteen Detroit Tigers on October 2 nd (including six straight), yet still lost 4-1 on rival Harry Eisenstat's four-hitter.

I n the National League...

The St. Louis Cardinals signed Texas Christian University All-American football star and Washington Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh as an infielder. Although he started off with the team in spring training, he was eventually assigned to the "Redbirds" farm system in both Columbus and Rochester.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hal Kelleher set two unwanted Major League records on May 5 th after surrendering twelve runs off of sixteen Chicago Cub batters in the eighth inning of a 21-2 massacre. Joe Marty led the attack with four hits for four runs and four runs batted in.

In December, the National League granted the Cincinnati Reds their season opener one-day before the rest of the league in recognition of the 100 th anniversary of baseball and the 1869 Red Stockings who were baseball's first professional team.

A round the league...

A special committee from the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Alexander Cartwright for originating baseball's original concepts and sports writer Henry Chadwick for the invention of the box score.

On June 18 th , Babe Ruth signed on as a Brooklyn Dodgers coach for the remainder of the season. Desperately seeking a management position, "The Sultan of Swat" agreed to participate in many exploitive "non-coaching related" publicity stunts including appearing before games in uniform for batting demonstrations.

The founder of the Elias Sports Bureau and official statistician of the National League, Al Munro Elias, died in New York City on August 1 st at the age of sixty-seven.

The New York Yankees became the first team to win three successive World Championships after defeating the Chicago Cubs by a score of 8-3. On a somber note, the ailing Lou Gehrig, went four for fourteen (all singles) for his last Series appearance.

"Gabby Hartnett was not only a standout catcher, but a dangerous hitter. As a Cubs backstop, he caught 100 or more games 12 times, led the National League in putouts four times, and in assists and fielding average six times." - National Baseball Hall of Fame
1938 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Brooklyn

119

Batting Average

Cincinnati

.342

Doubles

St. Louis

47

Hits

Cincinnati

209

Home Runs

New York

36

On Base Percentage

New York

.442

RBI

St. Louis

122

Runs

New York

116

Slugging Average

St. Louis

.614

Stolen Bases

Chicago

16

Total Bases

St. Louis

326

Triples

St. Louis

16

1938 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Cincinnati

26

ERA

Chicago

2.66

Games

Pittsburgh

51

New York

Saves

New York

12

Shutouts

Chicago

9

Strikeouts

Chicago

135

Winning Percentage

Chicago

.710

Wins

Chicago

22

1938 National League

Team Standings

Chicago Cubs

89 63 .586 0

Pittsburgh Pirates

86 64 .573 2

New York Giants

83 67 .553 5

Cincinnati Reds

82 68 .547 6

Boston Bees

77 75 .507 12

St. Louis Cardinals

71 80 .470

Brooklyn Dodgers

69 80 .463 18½

Philadelphia Phillies

45 105 .300 43

1938 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Brooklyn

611

Batting Average

Pittsburgh

.279

Doubles

St. Louis

288

Hits

St. Louis

1,542

Home Runs

New York

125

On Base Percentage

Pittsburgh

.340

Runs

St. Louis

725

Slugging Average

St. Louis

.407

Stolen Bases

Brooklyn

66

Triples

Brooklyn

79

1938 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

83

ERA

Chicago

3.38

Fewest Hits Allowed

Cincinnati

1,329

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Boston

66

Fewest Walks Allowed

New York

389

Saves

Chicago

18

New York

Shutouts

Chicago

16

Strikeouts

Chicago

583



In our team review of hitting statistics take note that first place finishing Chicago did not lead in ANY of the stats we display on our leaderboard! We challenge you to find the last time this occurred in National League history.

On April 19, 1938, Ernie Koy of the Dodgers became only the eighth National League player to hit a home run during his first Major League at-bat .

An even MORE amazing event took place on April 19, 1938, when during the same game where Koy went deep in his first at-bat, Heinie Mueller also went deep in his first Major League at-bat in the bottom of the same inning.

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